SOUTHEND MUSIC FESTIVAL ADJUDICATORS
Registered Charity Number: 283503
Affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals of which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron
SINGING: Maria Jagusz , GRNCM FISM
Maria Jagusz trained at the Royal Northern College of Music where she was awarded the Ricordi Prize for
Opera. Further scholarships enabled her to continue her studies at the National Opera Studio where she
worked with Sir Georg Solti, Dame Janet Baker and Martin Isepp.
Since then she has performed as an operatic soloist for leading opera companies in the U.K. and Europe
working alongside artists like Mirella Freni, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Dame Felicity Lott and Dame
Kiri Te Kanawa.
As a concert artist she has performed in many leading venues including The Albert Hall, The Royal Festival
Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square, The Barbican and Bonn Cathedral. In 2010 she was
awarded honorary chairman of the Silurian Consort for her contribution to music in the Cotswolds.
Maria combines her singing career with a busy teaching practice both in the Cotswolds and London. She
runs MJ-UK Music &Arts, which gives young singers performing opportunities in both the classical and
musical theatre world. She is a leading workshop leader for choirs and schools and on the education team
for Longborough Festival Opera. She has just returned from a Music Festival At Sea cruise where she has
been directing and teaching willing passengers a mini version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial By Jury”.
PIANOFORTE – Dennis Lee, LRSM (Pf Perf) ARCM Hons (Pno Perf)
Dennis studied piano at the Royal College of Music, Vienna Academy and in Milan. His degree is from London
University and he also has a diploma in violin (teaching). His work has ranged from piano lecturer at Kingston
University to Artist in Residence, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. Concerts and festival
performances have included the Barbican, Royal Festival, Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, Kennedy
Centre, Washington and Merkin Hall, New York; Cheltenham, Brighton, Montreux, Spoleto and Adelaide.
He has appeared with most of the BBC orchestras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé, Warsaw
Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, RAI Milano, Rai Napoli, Adelaide Symphony, New Zealand Symphony,
Shanghai Symphony and more.
Dennis is also an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.
WOODWIND AND BRASS – Rachel Gregory, FTCL LTCL
Rachel Gregory studied recorder and viol with Carl Dolmetsch and harpsichord with Ruth Dyson. She is on
the visiting panel of conductors of the Society of Recorder Players and performs regularly, as soloist and with
The Classical Music Company and the Dolmetsch Concertante. As well as making recordings, she has
broadcast on radio and television.
In addition to teaching in schools, privately, at summer schools, both in the UK and Europe, weekend courses
and one day workshops, she is increasingly in demand as an adjudicator for the British and International
Federation of Festivals. Rachel lives in Hampshire and is married with 2 sons.
STRINGS – Lorraine Deacon, GRSM (Hons) LRAM
Lorraine Deacon studied the ’cello with Douglas Cummings and chamber music with Sidney Griller at the
Royal Academy of Music, and whilst there was awarded the Manson Prize for the Performance of
Contemporary Music by Sir Michael Tippett. She subsequently undertook further studies with David Smith of
the Alberni Quartet.
Her performing career ranges from West End theatre to the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, whilst recordings
range from the haunting cello solo on Katie Melua’s cover of “Turn to Tell” to the string chamber works of
David Osbon with the Anglo-American duo for Albany Records.
She is now principal ’cellist with the Chameleon Arts Orchestra and gives regular chamber music recitals at
South Hill Park. Concerto performances include Bernstein’s Three Meditations and the concertos of Elgar
and Walton under conductor Philip Ellis. Based in Berkshire she teaches ’cello at Wellington College. Many
former and existing pupils have been awarded music scholarships to prestigious public schools or have
gained places at specialist centres such as Chethams and The Purcell School, and many have gone on to
further study at the country’s leading conservatoires.
Lorraine is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.
SPEECH AND DRAMA – Helen Grady, BA Hons
Helen trained at the Oxford School of Drama and works as an actor, director and drama tutor. She has
professional experience of stage, screen and voiceover; including working with the Royal Shakespeare
Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and the West End. She recently devised and delivered a new course on
Creative Writing for Performance for students on the Foundation Course at the Oxford School of Drama – as
well as teaching acting at the school.
Helen assisted the Principal in delivering Professional Development classes to graduating students and
contributed to the Professional Development workbook, covering practical aspects of working in the
profession. Helen also works as a writer under the pen-name Maggie Dealey. She has had two plays
published via Stagescripts and has two short films in pre-production.
She is working on two feature length screenplays, a web series and three further short films.
Helen provides mentorship to writers and tuition for actors of all levels as well as leading drama workshops
for amateur groups and students; she also provides training for businesses including presentation skills and
Helen is delighted to be joining the Federation again after an absence of a couple of years whilst working
with the RSC and looks forward to adjudicating and providing encouragement to festival participants of all